Monday, August 31, 2015

Gershom Chifumbe Memorial

Gershom with one of the many orphans he befriended.
We are establishing a Gershom Chifumbe Communications Center  at the schools in memory of HealthEd Connect's long-time and irreplacable friend, Gershom.  His official title was HealthEd Connect, Zambian Communications Representative.  In the beginning Gershom was the sole communications link between those of us in the US and the schools in Zambia.  Over the years, however, contacts expanded as he helped mentor numerous people who now correspond with us via email!

Gershom had a little office in the Kafwa Center at the Chipulukusu School where we would like to establish a permanent Center in his memory.  The schools have been begging for a computer and printer so they can write and print exams -- this would provide them with those tools.  $5,000 will provide a Center at one school,  $10,000 two schools.  This amount will also provide a supply budget for ink, paper, and maintenance.

We would appreciate your spreading the word to others.  We will never forget Gershom and the pivotal role he played in establishing the schools.  He would be so pleased -- and bashfully humbled --- at this remembrance.

Donations can be made to HealthEd Connect, 1401 West Truman Road, Independence, MO 64050.  Or online at  In the "Occasion" drop down menu just indicate in memory of Gershom Chifumbe and we'll make sure your donation is restricted for his memorial.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Irreplaceable friend

Our dear friend and colleague, Gershom Chifumbe, passed this life last weekend after suffering from several strokes.  He was an incredible advocate of HealthEd Connect and our official representative in Zambia.  He was a small but gentle giant who worked tirelessly to empower others and build a better life for the many orphans in Zambia.  He was loved wherever he went.

He will be deeply missed and never forgotten.  This picture shows him at his proudest with his son, Gershom II, and his grandson, Gershom III.

Sent from my android

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hollywood watch out!

If you don't have grass skirts improvise!  That's just what the girls did at Kasompe.  The teachers and school children presented an elaborate program complete with drums, dramas, skits, songs, and readings.   One of the skits portrayed cultural beliefs and the students made costumes to fit their characters.  The girls made cute little skirts by fringing the edges of plastic rice bags and added head dresses made from discarded snack bags, and the boys made drums out of plastic buckets.  What an exciting morning!  I think they're all destined for Hollywood!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Not just Grandmothers

Graceland team visiting Mpongo family
We were so impressed when we visited the Mpongo family with the Kafwa.  The grandfather is the head of a big household of eleven people composed of his two daughters and eight grandchildren.  Three of the boys are in the 7th grade and the other four are in lower grades at our Kasompe School of Peace.  Grandpa Mpongo was thrilled to have us visit and excited to see all of his grandchildren in school.  A family this big is rarely able to afford school and extremely grateful to have a community school like ours nearby.  If he thanked us for coming once, he thanked us 25 times!  

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Post earthquake trauma

Pinkey (right) with Bimala (left in white)
Pinkey has been diligently working to help children  through the emotional trauma they experienced during the earthquake.  At a program in Biratnagar, she sang songs with them, helped them draw pictures of their feelings, invited them to share stories of their experiences during the earthquake, and provided the all important refreshments at the end!  The kids were open and receptive and begged Pinkey to arrange more programs for them.

Prajwal, a 12-year-old boy, said he was playing along the road side near a small river when he saw the water suddenly moving like a big river.  He thought a flood was coming and ran to his parents.  He said they lived at the road side without a tent for 5 days after the earthquake.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Flag

We were blown away with a speech read by Jadhet during our June visit to Chipulukusu.   His speech went like this:

My name is Jadhet Mumpa.  I am grade 5 and age 13.  I want to tell you the secret of the White HealthEd Connect flag.

This flag cannot fly where people are always fighting.  This flag cannot fly where people are lazy.  The flag can only fly where people love each other, where there is good relationshp, where there is good accountability, where there are people who understand workmanship, where there is transparency in everything and that is the fantastic flag.

Thank you.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


There are some things you just wish would go away forever!  Lymphatic Filariasis, sometimes known as elephantiasis, is one of those miserable 'things'.  We regularly see people in the villages with hugely edematous legs who are suffering from this debilitating disease.  Caused by filarial worms, it is transmitted by mosquitoes.  There are currently over 120 million people infected.  Zambia has recently launched a major program to prevent and treat the disease.   Our Kafwa visit clients with this disease weekly and support and help them access medical care.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Kennedy's dreams

Kennedy hosting us in his house

Tara Sheehy reporting:

The third home we visited on this trip with Loveness and Penelope was the home of seventh grader, Kennedy. As we neared his home, Kennedy was coming around the corner carrying a smaller child that appeared to have gotten tired on their walk home. He lives at home with his grandma and two other kids. He told us that he wants to be a doctor and we later were told that he is number one in his class. I believe whole-heartedly that he will become a doctor. He was so gracious, humble, and kind hearted. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Ongoing challenges

Ramprassad's house

Ramprassad (center) talking with Pinkey
New challenges keep bubbling up in Nepal.  Our volunteer from Gorkha, Ramprassad Gurung, traveled to Kathmandu recently and had a long visit with Pinkey sharing his experiences of how the villagers and children are suffering. He showed photos of his house that fell down and said they are still living in a tent.  Because it's the rainy season, they will not be able to rebuild their house for several months. 
            He also said that many children from his village are suffering from an allergy that causes itching skin;  it starts in a small place and eventually covers the body in a rash.  Pinkey contacted a doctor in Kathmandu who suggested Calamine Lotion and a Sulphate skin cream and said the children should recover with 3 or 4 days of treatment.  Pinkey sent Ramprassad home with a supply of these medicines as well as a variety of other supplies.  Pinkey said Ramprassad wanted her to tell everyone how grateful he is for HealthEd Connect's help.

Monday, August 3, 2015

It's all about the Kafwa

Gershom translating for Tara Sheey at Zamtan

By Tara Sheehy - June 2015 Zambia Team Member (shared with Zamtan Congregation)

Ever since I was little, I have had a passion for science. Now my passion back then focused on experimenting how long I could tease my brother and sister before they brought mom in, but nonetheless I was always wondering how and why things happened the way they did. Being a university student the past couple years has put my life into a state of uncertainty, but full of opportunity. There are doors ready to be opened with experiences and adventures in any direction that my dreams lead me. But I have been feeling anxious and uncertain on which direction I want to go. Coming to Africa on this trip, I was hoping for some inspiration or directions for my passions. The Kafwa have been that inspiration. Their willingness to serve their community has been an incredible eye opening experience to me. Not only do they visit community members to aid in their healthcare, they also provide encouragement and positivity. Being able to see the Kafwa in action has given me a new perspective on where to direct my passions. I have experienced and felt true compassion for others and learned how to display that to others. Sometimes all it takes is knowing that someone else is cheering for you and looking out for you. And for learning that from the Kafwa, I will forever be grateful.